Sunday, December 28, 2008


One of the most exciting moments in a child's life is the moment he or she takes his or her first steps. We often think of that moment as the most exciting moment for the parents, forgetting to realize that above and beyond that, each stride a child takes brings a self pride and a simple joy recognized as a great accomplishment.

Children do not take walking for granted. They revel in it. They can't get enough of it. They walk every chance they get.

As we get older, walking becomes a thing of the past. Something expected and taken for granted. How easily walking becomes a forgotten luxury. Thankfully, it's never too late to remember. Why, you can embrace walking every day.

It all starts with baby steps. Yes, Bob, baby steps. Baby steps out the door. Baby steps down the walk, baby steps across the street. Baby stepping on your way.

Here is a list of my top ten walking tips:

1. No destination in particular. Just be sure you don't walk more than 20 minutes before turning back. Unless you have stamina. But don't start walking back just because you think you might be getting tired after two minutes. Walking is rejuvenating and you're more than likely to get a second wind.

2. Comfy clothes. But not too comfy, you don't want to fall asleep. Not too baggy, you don't want your clothes to fall off.

3. Comfy shoes. (Note warnings for number two above.)

4. A smile. A smile will make you feel good and will prompt you to think nice thoughts. The key here, however, is to smile with your whole face. Get your eyebrows involved too. You'll notice the difference right away.

5. All your worries. That's right. bring them along. That smile on your face just may help you solve some problems. The time alone or with a friend in the fresh air will be the biggest blessing you could have hoped for. If you're worried about money, however, leave your calculator at home, but by all means think about what you can do to change your situation or plan a budget. Some of the greatest ideas come about during a walk in the great outdoors. Yes, the city streets are still considered a part of the great outdoors; you don't need the woods to take a great walk.

6. An umbrella if it's raining or you think it's going to. Of course, bringing an umbrella is a fabulous idea since the great outdoors offer much in the way of hazards. For example, if you'll be walking in a wooded area, an umbrella can protect you from bird droppings.

7. Speaking of rain, how's about a little drink of water for before, during, and after. You may not be thirsty when you leave, but dehydration comes on quick when you're in motion.

8. Don't let the weather get you down. Too hot? Bring a spray bottle. Snowing or cold? Take the time to bundle up. Hailing? Another great use for that umbrella of yours.

9. Bring along a pet if you have one. Sometimes pets help us relax, keep us occupied, keep us company. One of the biggest reasons people don't go on walks is because walking alone seems to make you feel alone, the same reason most people don't dine out alone. Let's not forget the amount of entertainment a pet can provide. For example, a cat on a leash may be challenging, but it can also be a source of entertainment, as well as a test of humor.

10. A first aid kit. you never know when you might fall and skin your knee. There is also the risk of getting bitten by your neighbor's nephew, or even a snake!

Think you're too old? Nonsense. Most people who live to be over a hundred have mastered the art of walking and kept at it. Too tired? Walking will give you energy and clear your mind. It's much easier to rest after a good walk. Pregnant? Childbirth will be a whole lot easier if you've been walking every chance you get. You and your muscles will be in better shape. And oddly enough, those ailments of pregnancy will seem to vanish into thin air. Don't have time because you work? Park your car at the end of the lot. Too many errands to run? Again, the end of the lot is your best bet. besides which, you'll be spending less time fighting for a spot and more time energizing your life!

I hope that these tips are encouraging and helpful. And remember, walking isn't only one of the best forms of physical exercises the mind and spirit. You deserve the best.

Send us your walking tips and experiences. We want to hear from YOU!

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